On the Shelf
Phil Spohn   -  

On the Shelf

I imagined this week that I was at the Sermon on the Mount, listening to Jesus with lots of other people.  Some people Jesus knew well, others like me, just came along with the crowds.  I heard of Jesus but he didn’t know who I was.  What caught me off guard was that he called me the Light of the World and the Salt of the earth.  I’m a stranger to Jesus, he doesn’t know me, yet called me Salt and Light.

I knew what he meant by those metaphors.  I’m not a wealthy guy, so when the sun goes down, I retire.  I can’t afford the oil to keep my lights on in my house.  I do light my oil lamp when I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  It’s a bit of a walk from my house to the outhouse, so without the light, I’d stumble through the dark.  As I farmer, I am dependent upon the Sunlight that brings life to my crops.  Jesus said, “I’m light”, thinking about the importance of light in my life, he must think quite highly of me…he doesn’t even know me.  I wonder if he thinks about all people like that?

Then Salt.  I’m salt?  Are you salt?  All these people here listening to Jesus, are they salt too?  I know some of these characters, they may not be salt, but I would call them salty.  My family doesn’t have the money to afford large quantities of salt in order to preserve the fish we catch.  We eat them fresh, but I do add some salt once I am finished grilling them.  A pinch of salt adds so much to the taste.  It’s amazing how a small amount of salt can make a world of difference.  I wonder if Jesus thinks I can add some spice to life?

I didn’t quite understand what he meant by salt losing its saltiness.  I never heard that.  I doubt that happens.  Just then my daughter’s voice came booming through about the way I conserve the use of salt in my house.  I can’t afford it.  My daughter a typical teenager complains, “Dad, what good is salt if it just sits on the shelf?”

What good is light if I hide it under a bushel basket?

What good are the teachings of Jesus if all I do is listen?